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to alter the map of that vital part of the Eastern Mediterranean and
South-Western Asia beyond possibility of any iestoration of the status
guOy or at any rate5 so long as Germany remained unbeaten. That is,
if under these circumstances a defeat of Germany could have been
achieved. . . .
Furthermore^ and what was even more pregnant, a withdrawal from
the war would have enabled the ruling circle of the Soviets, that same
group of men who twenty-five years before had proclaimed the need for
World Revolution, to again watch the joyful spectacle of the capitalist
world destroying itself in a battle which might last no one knew for how
long. . . . And, moreover, such a move would not limit the Soviets
liberty of diplomatic action—they could always participate in the final
coup-de-grace of Germany and take a share in the carving up, or alterna-
tively, adopt a bolder step so dear to the hearts of the old Bolsheviks,
i.e., revolutionise Germany—instal a puppet Government . . . the
* Committee of Free Germans * was waiting and an embryonic German
Army could appear within a few weeks.* Moscow already had its own
Polish Government in working order and one more such Government
mattered little.
It was not to be quite so plain sailing for the Soviets. Russia badly
needed a breathing space of peace, for she was both exhausted and
war-battered. Peace could not be expected so long as the Germans
continued fighting. Viewing the situation from another angle, the
exploitation of a devastated Eastern and Central Europe, could not equal
or replace the continual stream of Allied supplies (which had already
passed eleven figures in dollars, and nine figures in pound sterling),
* New York Times, July 21st, 1943, " Indicating official Soviet approval of the
new committee, Pravda published a manifesto by that body calling upon German
soldiers to mutiny, turn their backs on their leaders, and blast their way back home.
** The new regime would be," said the manifesto, occupying a full page in Pravda,
cc consistent with Premier Stalin's declaration of November, 7th, 1942, in which
he said that the Nazi state and army must be destroyed, but that the German
people and state are hidestructable."
This Moscow-created German Committee had its own journal Free Germany,
just as the Union of Polish Patriots had Free Poland.
Observer, April 23rd, 1944:—
On January 29th, the National Committee " Free Germany," in Moscow gave
out the slogan : " The shortest way home leads east, not west. German soldiers,
join us go over to the National Committee. Here we shall rally and then go to
Germany to create order there,"
On April 14th, General von Seydlitz, the vice-president of the National Com-
mittee and president of the German Officers' League, sent a letter to General
Jaenecke, commander of the 17th German Army in the Crimea, which gives some
more details. In this letter he says :
" The lives of a considerable number of young Germans are in your hands.
You can save them in two ways : either by an honourable capitulation or by
joining the National Committee. Make contact with me through the pleni-
potentiaries of the National Committee. I shall then give you further confidential
information which is of decisive importance for the future of Germany and which
will facilitate your decision."